Baby Bottle Sterilizer (and sanitizer)
If you are worried about germs populating on your bottles, proper sterilization will kill 99.9% of all that bacteria in mere minutes, but you may not actually need to buy one because there are more methods of sterilizing you can use.
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To keep your baby safe from bacteria and germs, you’re going to want to have a good bottle washing and sterilizing system in place. Starting with baby-safe dish soap (best dish soaps here!) and ending with a proper sterilizing routine.
As a mom of 3, I get it, there is no time to do anything once the baby arrives, and sterilizing bottles is the last thing you want to focus on, although it’s super important. The best baby bottle sterilizers are Wabi Baby Electric Steam Sterilizer, and Baby Brezza Bottle Sterilizer if you were looking for an all-in-one system.
If you were needing something easier such as a microwave sterilizer, my go-to was always the Medela Steam Bag Sterilizer, which was really useful for when I only had a handful of things to sterilize like pacifiers and one bottle.
It can seem like a tedious chore to wash and then sterilize bottles, which is why there are awesome machines available to help you out with this task.
When you have a new baby and you finally have a moment to take a breathe, rest and sleep are the most important thing you can do for yourself. However, the laundry, dinner duties, showers, and possibly work emails are always calling. Scrubbing pieces of bottles and breast pump parts can become an overwhelming task very quickly and we want to ensure to keep up with baby bottle hygiene.
When your little one is bottle-fed you’ll need a brush, a baby-safe dish detergent, and a drying rack to take care of those bottles and then a sterilizer on top of that. Your baby needs a hygienic and safe feeding experience. While you may be able to throw your parts into the top rack of the dishwasher, you might not always be able to keep up with running it, or risk waking the baby up with all of its noise. This is where the baby bottle sterilizer machines come in.
You can even wash toys and teethers in these bottle sterilizers, just make sure they are safe to sterilize so you don’t end up melting them.
While you can boil your bottle and pump parts in a large pot after washing up with a baby bottle brush and some baby dish soap, a sterilizer will save you precious time, just like a baby formula dispenser and baby bottle warmer can.
The Best Baby Bottle Sterilizers
The Wabi Baby Electric Steam Sterilizer is a sterilizer and dryer combo in one fantastic machine.
This little piece of heaven can hold up to 8 bottles and has a separate tray for plates, bowls, and utensils.
There are three separate functions: drying, sterilizing, and descaling.
If you live in a hard water city, the descaling comes in very handy.
This beauty sits on the countertop and doesn’t take up that much space.
|Sanitizes, dries, and descales||Large footprint|
|Holds up to 8 bottles||High Price Point|
|Claims to kill 99.9% of bacteria in 8 minutes||Takes longer due to the drying cycle|
If you’re looking for an all in one sterilizer, this is the product for you.
The Baby Brezza Bottle Sterilizer is an electric sterilizer that sterilizes and dries bottles.
This is a bottle washer that is the first and only automatic, countertop sterilizer on the market today. This product can hold up to 4 bottles and accessories. It washes, rinses, sterilizes and dries with one push of a button. It really eliminates the potential for cross-contamination with your common dishes, glasses and cups.
The dryer function ensures there is no leftover moisture which can cause bacteria to grow on your precious baby gadgets.
This bottle sterilizer can hold up to 6 bottles and can be set up to sterilize and then dry in one cycle if you need.
|Can Hold Up To 6 Bottles||Requires Distilled Water To Use|
|Sterlize And Dry In One Cycle||High Price Point|
|Automatic Drying Functions||Takes longer to run cycle|
|Kills 99% Germs|
|Bottles Stay Clean For 24 Hours|
This is a great option if you want to sterilize and dry your bottles in one go!
The babymoov Turbo Pure Sterilizer Dryer is a close competitor for the Baby Brezza and the Wabi sterilizers.
This is a newer sterilizer on the market and offers a sterilizing and drying option in one machine.
The sterilizing takes 8 minutes and the machine can hold up to 6 bottles at once.
The “stems” inside the sterilizer can be removed to make more space for wider bottles and other baby accessories that you want to sterilize.
Drying mode can run from 30-60 minutes to ensure all the bottles and accessories are fully dry to prevent the growth of bacteria.
|Can Sterilize Up To 6 Bottles||Higher Price Point|
|Removable Stems To Make More Room For Wider Bottles|
This is a good option for those who want to be able to sterilize and dry in one machine!
Philips AVENT makes some of the best baby products on the market so it’s no surprise that they created this great sterilizer too.
This sterilizer does not have a drying function so you will need to remove the lid when it has completed the sterilizing function to air out the bottles.
The name 3-in-1 is used to describe the ways the machine can be used.
There are 3 baskets, 1 lower, one middle and one upper.
You can choose to fill up one, two or three baskets for your sterilizing session.
|One Button Push To Start||Even Bottom basket Cannot Hold The Dr. Browns 8-9ounce Bottles|
|Great Price Point||Does Not Dry On Its Own|
This is a great option for those who can dry their own bottles and want to be able to save some money on baby gadgets.
Dr. Browns is another name on the baby market that knows what they are doing when it comes o producing quality baby items.
This sterilizer takes 12 minutes to kill 99.9% of germs on your bottles.
It can hold up to 6 tall Dr. Browns bottles and has a separate tray for accessories such as nipples, and pacifiers.
This product comes with tongs so you won’t burn yourself when removing freshly sterilized bottles.
This unit does require distilled water to avoid the build-up of mineral deposits.
|Holds up to 6 bottles and accessories||Requires Distilled Water|
|Comes With Tongs||Does Not Dry Bottles|
|Removable accessory tray for easy positioning||High Price Point|
|Claims to kill 99.9% bacteria in 12 minutes||Slower than other sterilizers|
|Automatic shut-off||Long cool-down time|
|Easy electronic controls|
If you are using Dr. Brown’s bottles, this is the unit for you as it accommodates the taller bottles.
The light sterilizes the bottles and then the machine uses 167F warm air to dry the bottles which kills more dirt and bacteria.
You can sterilize anything and everything with this sterilizer, even clothing and stuffed toys.
This is a great sterilizer for babies in the NICU who need to be extra protected from germs.
This unit has 6000+ hours of usage and uses a HEPA filter to filter out unwanted particles and pollutants in your home.
While it is on the pricey side, it is a good investment to help keep your baby away from germs and bacteria.
|Uses UV light||Expensive|
|Uses 67F warm air to dry||Takes up a lot of counter space|
|Can sterilize clothing and stuffed animals|
|Uses HEPA filter and cleans the air|
The Papablic Baby Bottle Electric Steam Sterilizer and Dryer is a quick sterilizer that offers a complete clean on your baby items by washing your bottles with hotter steam than a dishwasher can offer.
The easy twist dial allows you to sterilize with steam, dry with hot and and even deodorize to clean from start of a cycle to end.
This sterilizer can fit up to 11 bottles plus a few accessories like teethers and pacifiers due to it’s stacking design.
This sterilizer features an ergonomic design for easy carrying around. You can also take this machine apart for easy cleaning and descaling.
|Handles large loads||Takes up a lot of counter space|
|Dries bottles completely||Does not descale on its own|
|Quick sterilization cycle|
|3 Stacking Options|
|Stores bottles for up to 12 hours|
|Easy To Clean|
If you are on a budget the First Years Power of Steam Electric Steam Sterilizer is a good choice.
This sterilizer can sanitize bottles, pacifiers, and small toys too. The steam reaches into the bottle for full sterilization.
This unit has a built in drying rack and the trays can be taken out of the unit so the boittles can dry on the counter.
The sterilizer is BPA and PVC free .
|Can handle many bottles brands||Residue builds upon the bottom|
|Can fit up to 6 bottles|
The Philips Avent Microwave Steam Sterilizer is a great steam sterilizer for those parents who don’t want another machine in their home.
It’s also a budget friendly option. This plastic dome is BPA free and very effective in removing 99% of germs.
It measures 6.5″x11″ which means it has a compact design for easy storage and easy to take with you when on the go.
This unit holds up to 4 AVENT bottles, which isn’t a lot, but if you don’t need to sterilize many items at once, then it’s a good option for you.
If you keep the lid closed after sterilizing, the items inside stay sterilized for 24 hours.
|Easy to use||Will not fit smaller microwaves|
|Affordable||Can only hold 4 bottles|
|Sterilizes in around 2 minutes|
|Holds 4 bottles and 2 breast shields|
|Fits most microwaves|
If you have access to a microwave and don’t have that many items to sterilize, the Medela Steam Bag Sterilizer is a good option.
It sanitizes your baby items quickly and properly. Each box of Madela Steam Bags comes with 5 bags, each one being able to be used 20 times.
They do kill 99% of germs and you can keep the bag sealed up until you need something from it, meaning your items will stay sterilized.
These bags are easy to store as they simply fold up and can be tucked away in a drawer.
You can also use these sterilizers on the go, just throw one bag into your diaper bag and go, as long as you have access to a microwave on your travels.
|Affordable||Cannot sanitize many bottles at once|
|Convenient||Requires microwave access|
|Easy to store|
|Need microwave, not a plug in unit|
|Claims to kill 99.9% bacteria in under 3 minutes|
|Each bag can be reused up to 20 times|
Guide To Buying A Baby Bottle Sterilizer
Do You Really Need A Baby Bottle Sterilizer?
You do not need a bottle washer and sterilizer, but it does save you time as a new parent.
You can boil your bottles and accessories or even put them in the dishwasher (as long as it has a drying function).
Here is a video showing you how you can sterilize bottles in boiling water on the stove.
Can You Sterilize Bottles Instead Of Washing?
Sterilizing is not the same as washing your bottles. You will have to wash your bottles and accessories before putting them into your sterilizer.
The sterilizer kills germs, but is unable to wash away milk.
Types Of Bottle Sterilizers Available
Washing a bottle with soap and water is a great start, but if you want to kill 99.9% of other germs and bacteria on your baby feeding supplies, a bottle sterilizer is a must-have.
If you have the time, you can put your bottles in the dishwasher that has a hot water and heated drying cycle, or boil your bottles for 5 minutes after every wash.
If you don’t have time to boil your bottles, a sterilizer is a must have.
Here are a few different kinds of sterilizers on the market.
These are our favourite types of sterilizers that can kill bacteria on your bottles at high temperatures pretty quickly. Some of these even have self-drying options such as the Baby Brezza and the Wabi.
You can also sterilize your bottles in a microwave steamer. This is a good option if you are tight on space. This is affordable solution and a great alternative to the electric steam.
Ultraviolet light kills germs by altering chromosomes which prevents cell division and there are bottles sterilizers that feature this option!
There is no steam, so these are a great no-mess option.
Features To Look For In Baby Sterilizers
Baby bottle sterilizers all have the same goal in mind – to sanitize baby products and keep your little one safe. While they all have the same goal, they all find different ways to get the job done. Here are some features to look for in baby sterilizers when you’re making your baby registry list.
- Sterilizing method: Many bottle sterilizers use steam as a method of sterilizing which is efficient and easy for parents to use. With steam sterilizers, you simply add water to the reservoir and turn the machine on. Some sterilizers can stand on the counter and have an electrical wall plug for power while others use the microwave as a source to create steam. Some sterilizers work more efficiently with distilled water while others use UV light to sterilize.
- Length of the cycle: Some sterilizers only need 2 minutes to do the job while others can take up to 30 minutes. If you have an older microwave you might need to take a few extra minutes with a microwave sterilizer to get the job done.
- Drying feature: A few sterilizer models also dry the bottles and parts after the steaming is complete.
- Storage after sterilizing: After your sterilizing cycle, you will need to remove the bottles and parts and store them in a dry and clean place. Some bottle sterilizers actually allow you to safely store and hold the bottles for up to 24 hours as long as you don’t open the lid.
- Auto shut-off: Many of the sterilizer models have an auto shut-off feature so you don’t have to worry about turning it off after it has done the job in your sleep-deprived state.
- Size: Some sterilizers hold 4-6 bottles while others can fit in 8-12. The more bottles the sterilizer holds, the more counter space it might take up in your kitchen as well. Keep these things in mind when choosing a baby bottle washer and sterilizer for your home.
- Compatibility: If your bottles are AVENT or Dr. Browns, then you might want a baby bottle sterilizer that is compatible with those bottles. While most sterilizers can hold many different brands of baby bottles, there is always a chance that your bottles are too large or wide for your sterilizer. Always check the compatibility before purchasing your sterilizer machine.
Frequently Asked Questions About Baby Bottle Sterilizers
Before sterilizing anything, check your manual on the sterilizer and your item (such as a breast pump) to ensure it is safe to sterilize. You don’t want to have to purchase new pump parts or new bottles because they weren’t meant to be sterilized, ask me how I know (pump fail!)
Keeping Baby Safe And Away From Germs
My favourite sterilizer is the Wabi Baby Electric Steam Sterilizer because it sterilizes and dries your baby things in one unit. This helps new parents save time when sterilizing and as a bonus, the machine has a descaling function too. We love that it doesn’t take up a lot of room on your countertop too.
If you don’t want to go with a machine, it’s a good idea to have some Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam Bags on hand for those little things like pacifiers and small toys.
Keeping a small human alive is a huge job and it takes a lot of time. Having products like a baby bottle sterilizer at your disposal can make the job a lot easier.
(This post contains affiliate links. Our full disclosure policy is really boring, but you can find it here)